Army Chief Backs Govt’s Decision To Call Off Dialogue With Pakistan

NEW DELHI — Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat Sunday backed the government’s decision to call off dialogue with Pakistan, asserting that talks and terror cannot go together.

The government had on Friday called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

Infiltration from across the border persists despite the call for a ceasefire by Pakistan, said Rawat stressing that “this cannot be allowed to continue and appropriate action has to be taken to deter terrorists from disrupting the peace in the Valley.” 

He was talking at a commemoration ceremony of Haifa Day Centernary at the Teen Murti Haifa Memorial here.

He backed the government’s decision to call off the talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart on sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“The government’s policy is very clear cut… You (Pakistan) show us some initiatives so that we feel that you are not encouraging terrorism. But we see that terror activities are continuing and terrorists come from the other side of the border. 

“In such an atmosphere, whether talks can be initiated that the government can only decide. I agree to the government’s decision that peace talks and terrorism cannot go together,” he said.

A BSF patrolling party was fired upon by forces from across the Pakistan border on September 20, in which a jawan was killed. The head constable rank jawan was suspected to have been hit by a fatal sniper shot from across the border. His body was recovered in a mutilated condition later.

Rawat further said they will provide security along with other agencies for the Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir to be held in November.

“Today we are also looking at Panchayat elections, we want these elections to go through because with this the power will devolve to people. 

“Our job is to ensure that the civil administration there and the election commission is able to carry out their tasks so that people can come out and cast their vote in a free and forthright manner without any fear of any kind of disruption,” he said.

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